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Resume ReWrite

What is Personal Branding

Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.

The process of personal branding involves finding your uniqueness, building a reputation on the things you want to be known for, and then allowing yourself to be known for them. Ultimately, the goal is to create something that conveys a message and that can be monetized (better job, better salary, etc.).

Whereas some self-help practices focus on self-improvement, personal branding defines success as a form of self-packaging. The term is thought to have originated from an article written by Tom Peters in 1997. In Be Your Own Brand, first published in 1999, marketers David McNally and Karl Speak wrote: "Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you."

Personal branding or self-positioning (and all individual branding by whatever name), was first introduced in 1937 in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. In Chapter 6 – Organized Planning, Planning the Sale of Services– Hill states, "It should be encouraging to know that practically all the great fortunes began in the form of compensation for personal services, or from the sale of ideas." The idea surfaced later in the 1981 book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, by Al Ries and Jack Trout. More specifically in "Chapter 23. Positioning Yourself and Your Career - You can benefit by using positioning strategy to advance your own career. Key principle: Don't try to do everything yourself. Find a horse to ride". It was later popularized by Tom Peters.

Personal branding has gained significance due to the use of the Internet, as social media and online identities affect the physical world.

Employers are increasingly using social media tools to vet applicants before offering them interviews. Practices include searching an applicant's history on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and conducting background checks using search engines and other tools. Some think this is leading to the decline of resume-only job applications. The reality is that resumes are still the primary tool for getting a job and probably always will be. Other forms of personal branding may include links to a professional profile (such as LinkedIn), a personal blog, a portfolio of industry-related articles, and evidence of an online following. These efforts may improve a person's chances of obtaining a job.

The Value of Personal Branding

At Success Discoveries, we see our personal branding work to be critically important and valuable to our clients. Many of our Resume ReWrite and Job Search clients have reported to us that they increased their annual base salary by 10-30%. Add in additional compensation such as performance bonuses and the total comp shift for some has been as much as 50%. We made a rough estimate and think we've produced over $1 million in additional annual income for over 200 clients. Multiply the years and our clients are doing very well on average.  Of course, we have no way to predict or guarantee a particular increase in income. However, after talking with you and learning about your background, experience and career goals, we can offer an opinion about what the market may provide for someone like you - today and for the long-term. We offer a complimentary consultation if you are interested. Use the Set an Appointment button at the top right of this page to have a discussion with Carl Nielson.

Our Business Goal is To Get You to Refer All in Your Network to Us

For the skeptics in the room, let's dismiss the personal financial value numbers for now. What do our clients actually say to others about our services? These are actual quotes from our clients:

"You need to talk to Carl. And pay him whatever he asks." (this is our favorite quote)

"The experience of working with Carl and his behind-the-scenes editor was beyond anything I could imagine. Don't mess around. Call him, use him, and watch what happens."

And here is a recent (and typical) inquiry Carl recieved via a text message:

"Hi Carl-
Good morning! I received your information from a friend of a friend who had nothing but great things to say about her experience working with you.
I'm currently looking to make a career change and would like to solicit your services to assist with my tranistion to a new career. 
At your convenience, please advise your availability.
I look forward to speaking with you soon. 
Thank you!

Components of Personal Branding That We Support

  • Resume ReWrite
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Cover Letters
  • One Page Bio

To see pricing or to purchase, tap on this button

Resume ReWrite

We take a one-on-one partnership approach to writing powerful, results-focused resumes. We DO NOT simply take your existing resume and an intake form to produce a new resume. Several of our clients went that route before finding us and regretted the waste of money. 

Here's our process and what you can expect:

Step 1

Talk with us about our services, ask questions and tell us what your goals are. To do that, set a convenient appointment time on Carl's calendar.

Step 2

Sign up, pay us (that's important ;-), and then be redirected to a 'new client form'. By completing that and sending us any existing resume or other existing information that might be useful, you are giving us a good starting point.

Step 3

Complete the online assessment (Talent Insights Profile). Schedule a debriefing session with Carl to review the assessment results. There are two benefits here. First, Carl is able to gain greater insights for developing the resume. Secondly, you personally benefit from gaining a greater understanding of your self - your talent strenghts - so that you can perform better in an interview. This process has been known to increase self-confidence too!

Step 4

Schedule a first co-editing session and at least 2 or 3 additional sessions to work directly with Carl on your resume. Carl will facilitate a discussion in each session and virtually share his screen so you can follow along on the resume draft. Together, you'll go line-by-line through the resume. Carl's goal here is to glean additional insights about your experience and accomplishments that were of value to your current/past employers. The number of sessions is not defined and is not limited. We keep working until you are 100% satisfied. We also support follow-up sessions at no additional cost down the road if you feel the need to tweak something in the resume. We'd much rather do those tweaks for you rather than have you take the risk of messing up a perfect resume. Introducing typos is so easy to do. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How many sessions does your fee cover?


How long does it take to get a finished resume?

It ranges from client to client but our average turnaround is 7-10 days. For a fresh grad/entry level person, it is about 3 days and for a 20+ yr experienced IT executive, it might be around 10 days. We can work as fast as you have time available.

Do I need a One Page Bio too?
Absolutely not. We call the one page bio the WOW factor. It is popular and effective at the senior manager/director and above level or if you are in a marketing-related field. But for most, and espcially for non-managerial roles, a one page bio is not necessary. Interestingly, we do find those clients who work in the human resources field and are at a managerial level frequently purchase the one page bio. If HR values it, and you are at a management level, you might want to consider it.

Will the new resume be SEO optimized?

SEO stands for search engine optimization and is a general term that can be applied to ATS machine reading as well. Most ATS systems will machine-read the resume and parse the information into standard database fields. A few will 'count' the number of times you refer to certain words and also present industry- and job-related key words that you've included.

The assumption with this question is that you might think a machine is accepting or rejecting your resume. The truth is that a real person is looking at your application, sometimes just the parsed information in the database fields but more likely they are looking at your resume before they decide whether to put you in the thumbs up or thumbs down bucket. 

While we don't know if it makes a difference, we 'load' the invisible part of your resume (the meta data which is often referred to as the Property Tags or Keywords) with specifically researched and selected keywords. So yes, your resume is SEO optimized. HOWEVER, we never write the resume  content to include all potential keywords. We write your resume to speak to the reader (Hiring Manager and HR Recruiter). 

What if I want my money back?
First, we have exactly 0 (zero) dissatisfied clients. We strive to make every client a client for life and in doing so you become a referring partner for us. However, should you have a need to ask for your money back, we will quickly oblige by refunding the full amount minus the 10% cost of credit card processing fees.

I have other questions and want to see a sample resume. Is that possible?

Yes! We love to show our resume and explain the different components. But don't ask us to send you a sample. That's kind of like going to the restaurant and saying "I'm interested in the prime rib steak but I'm not sure so could you bring me one to taste and I'll decide after I eat it."

We don't think anyone can replicate the quality and comprehensiveness of our work, even if they were to steal our format. We just don't want our resumes floating around except by those who own the resume (our clients).

We offer a no cost/no obligation complimentary information session that can be by phone or virtually. If it is a virtual call, Carl will share his screen while he discusses your current resume if you'd like it critiqued during the call. He'll also show his resume format/design.  

To see pricing or to purchase, tap on this button

LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn owns the online personal branding and networking space for business. No matter what other Job Posting Aggregator or job posting service you are on, LinkedIn is the first one you should be on for several reasons. And you should be using it.

What we do

When you order the LinkedIn Profile as an add-on to your resume order, you are getting two things from us: an overhaul/update of your profile from your new resume and a one-hour walkthrough and tips and techniques tutorial with Carl Nielson. You'll receive personalized coaching on how to use LinkedIn effectively in a job search. 

If you sign up for the Job Search Coaching package, we'll also spend time every week using LinkedIn strategically for job searches, company searches, key decision maker searches and communicating/networking. You'll learn techniques such as how to uncover the hidden job market.

If interested in learning more, as part of the complimentary information session, Carl will be glad to show you a few client LinkedIn profiles and briefly discuss some of the key profile parts.

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Cover Letters

Cover letters matter according to many experts including Jenny Foss, certified resume writer and video blogger. Ironically, someone in an HR Executives LinkedIn group posted a short commentary and asked a simple question: Does anyone in HR value the applicant's cover letter?

The responses were plentiful (no shortage of opinions in HR) and they were 95% on the side of "I hate cover letters". So on one side, we have professional experts who sell resume writing and cover letter writing saying a cover letter matters. And on the other side we have HR people saying "I always skip the cover letter" or "I ditch the cover letter immediately". 

The truth is that while HR may not appreciate the poor quality of most applicants' cover letters, they do scan each one. When done right, cover letters spell out clearly why your skills, experience, and interests make you the perfect person for the job. 

A great cover letter offers a killer lead in or opening paragraph, provides direct evidence for why your skills align with a position, and closes on a strong note. Writing your own cover letter presents the same challenge as writing your own resume. It's harder than you think and takes time. Error free and impactful cover letters take time to create, even for professionals.

The Truth is All That Matters

Ask 10 people and get 10 opinions but do you get the truth? 

The truth is a cover letter can be a differentiator or an interference. Either way, if you are submitting a cover letter, it is now part of your personal branding strategy. 

What we do

When you order a Cover Letter Package (either 3 or 10), you're able to send us a request for a cover letter with a link to the job posting. We will produce and provide a customized cover letter to you within 24 hours. There is no time limit on when you must request the cover letters. 

Which should I purchase, the 3 or 10 cover letter package?

Here is our thinking on that question. For many, having three professionally developed cover letters for three different 'real' jobs that you applied to gives you three templates to use for future cover letters if you are pretty good with attention-to-detail and editing using MS Word. The upside to doing the 4th one on your own is the quicker turnaround. Even though 'within 24 hours' is pretty quick, you can probably take one of the three we developed, copy/paste, modify to the job you're applying to and get it out in 15 minutes or so. The issue is your ability to edit and review to ensure no mistakes.

Some of our clients choose the 10 cover letter option because they
1) don't trust themselves to edit and customize the cover letter
2) they don't have the time or desire to do it. 

And many of our resume clients don't purchase the cover letter add-on option, choosing to rely purely on the resume and a phone screening. 

The one situation where we feel a cover letter is an absolute must is when you are literally changing careers or industries and there is a need to help the hiring manager connect the dots from your past experience to how you'll be able to use your experience to do similar work in the new role.

To see pricing or to purchase, tap on this button

One Page Bio

A One Page Bio is an aesthetically designed summary of achievements, career history, education and other information that does a great job of building your image and solidying your personal brand. This is an add-on feature when you purchase Resume ReWrite.

The one page bio is produced after the resume has been finalized and usually is finished with 48 hours.

The one page bio can be a standalone document used for networking, as a summary cover sheet to the resume, or as an ice breaker when you walk in to the face-to-face panel interview. In that last example, we've had many clients come back from an interview to say they got the "WOW" factor. That is, giving it to 3 people at the start of the panel interview, one of the interviewers inevitably says "wow, this is really nice". It changes the entire feel in the room and your confidence goes sky high. 

To see pricing or to purchase, tap on this button

Want to learn more? Schedule a virtual appointment with
Carl Nielson here.